Friday, March 6, 2015

Now's the Time: Diva

Diva, a New York based ensemble billed as “America’s most entertaining, liberated big band,” will perform two sets at the Blue Room on Saturday, March 7. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes

*Chris Burnett lobbies against a proposed reduction in city funding for the American Jazz Musuem.  Greg Carroll spoke to a television reporter about the cuts.

*The Mutual Musicians Foundation will host a Women’s Jazz Weekend later this month.

*The Pitch recommends a concert featuring Millie Edwards.

*Joe Klopus previewed Bill Frisell’s forthcoming concert at White Theatre.

*Clint Ashlock offers insights into his writing process.

*Rudresh Mahanthappa was interviewed by Joe Dimino.  Anita Dixon of the Mutual Musicians Foundation spoke to Dimino about her plans for a low-watt radio station.

*Tweet o’ the Week: Chris Hazelton- I'm all for making a joyful noise unto the Lord, but can we put some tambourine regulations in place? #churchproblems #findthebeat

*From Take Five Coffee + Bar: Friday, March 6, 8pm: Marcus Lewis Band- Marcus Lewis is a tremendous force on trombone, whether fronting his own big band or backing the likes of Janelle Monae… Andy McGhie on saxophone, Peter Schlamb on vibraphone, Karl McComas-Reichl on bass and Ryan Lee on drums. $5 cover.  Saturday, March 7, 8pm: BCR- …They call what they do “future-primitive jazz” and it’s a big, colorful and adventurous show you don’t want to miss. $10 cover.  Sunday, March 8, 10am - 2pm: Sunday Jazz Brunch: Gerald Spaits with Charles Perkins and Harry Miller- …No cover.  Sunday, March 8, 7pm - 9pm: Jeff Harshbarger and a Super Secret Guest Artist- Bassist Jeff Harshbarger is bringing a secret guest for a special show… $10 cover.

*The Kansas City Jazz Calendar has been updated.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Monday, March 2, 2015

Album Review: Bob Bowman- Songs for Sandra

Do you want to make me cry?  Cue up “What’ll I Do?,” the standout track on Bob Bowman’s Songs for Sandra album.

Knowing the project is a tribute to Bowman’s late wife renders Karrin Allyson’s distraught vocals all the more devastating.  While a few selections on the recording are overly polite, much of Songs for Sandra is similarly profound.

The opening track, a sensitive reading of “The Very Thought of You,” sets the tone.  The offhanded brilliance and subtle genius of Bowman’s playing reflect his quiet demeanor.  The gorgeous performances on the Danny Embrey composition “Another Time” are also exquisite. 

In addition to the appearances by Allyson and Embrey, the album released last December includes contributions from Laura Caviani, Rod Fleeman, Todd Strait, Roger Wilder and Eliot Zigmund.

An invaluable document, Songs for Sandra substantiates Bowman’s status as one of the most respected components of Kansas City’s jazz scene.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Friday, February 27, 2015

Now's the Time: Bill Frisell

Bill Frisell will perform songs associated with Woody Guthrie at White Theatre on the campus of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City on Friday, March 6.  Violinists Jenny Scheinman and Eyvind Kang, cellist Hank Roberts and drummer Rudy Royston will collaborate with the guitarist.  Frisell plays with Charlie Haden and Ginger Baker in the embedded clip.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes

*Clint Ashlock is featured in a cover story by The Pitch.

*KC Jazz Lark reveals that his previous post about the Mutual Musicians Foundation’s plans for a radio station was poorly received in some quarters.

*Joe Klopus highlights a forthcoming concert by the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra.

*Missouri Western State University's student newspaper published a story about The Project H.

*Sunday brunch at Take Five Coffee + Bar is recommended by The Pitch.

*Trumpeter Clark Terry has died.  I’m almost certain that a 2010 tribute to Duke Ellington at the Gem Theater that also featured Ahmad Alaadeen was Terry's final performance in Kansas City.

*Steve Kraske interviewed the Hot Sardines on KCUR’s Up To Date.

*Eddie Moore and Charles McPherson are among Joe Dimino’s recent interview subjects.

*Tweet o’ the Week: Ryan Keberle- Blues, TIME, humor, honesty - quintessential Clark Terry summed up in 2 choruses with the Count Basie Band (video)

*Comment o’ the Week: Gary- So you're getting Bill Shapiro's gig, huh?

*From a press release: The University of Kansas School of Music proudly presents the 38th Annual KU Jazz Festival concerts at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 6 and Saturday, March 7 in Woodruff Auditorium at the Kansas Union. This year’s concerts feature special guest artists Jerry Bergonzi, saxophone (March 6) and Marshall Gilkes, trombone (March 7). Both concert events are open to the public… For more information about the KU Jazz Festival visit KU Jazz Festival.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Monday, February 23, 2015

Bright Lights

My detractors will be pleased to hear that I was briefly heckled and jeered during my appearance on the stage of the Folly Theater on Saturday.

Many listeners at the pre-concert talk I conducted with two members of The Hot Sardines took offense at a self-deprecating ageist wisecrack.

No such animosity was directed at the eight-piece band from New York.  The octet floored an audience of about 700.

The Hot Sardines is a clearly band that’s going places.  It’s not that its members are incomparable musicians.  While every member of the ensemble was very good, there are plenty of superior musicians in Kansas City.

The band’s remarkable showmanship sets its apart.  Describing the ensemble’s antics would make it sound corny.  It’s not.  Somehow the Hot Sardines’ audience-pleasing shenanigans don’t seem the least bit hokey.

That’s a big reason why the ensemble has the support of a major record label while many giants of jazz struggle to secure gigs and fund recording sessions.

Audiences expect to be entertained.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Friday, February 20, 2015

Now's the Time: The Hot Sardines

The Hot Sardines a New York based ensemble specializing in Prohibition-era party jazz, will perform at the Folly Theater on Saturday, February 21. The author of Plastic Sax will host an interview session with the band one hour prior to the concert at 7 p.m.